I was delighted to receive a copy of the children’s book ‘Warning Cry’ from the author, Kris Humphrey, in return for an honest review of the book. It is published by Stripes Books on 6th July 2015.
Narlaw demons are over running the lands. Having been deemed a Whisperer at birth with the drop of a white feather on her doorstep, Nara is needed to fight the onslaught. She sets off with her panther, Flame, to try to rescue the kingdom of Meridina from the Narlaw invasion.
This is the second in a quartet of books under the umbrella title ‘Guardians of the Wild’. Although there are a few references to the first book, ‘A Whisper of Wolves’, and this one ends on a cliff hanger leading to the third in the series, it is hugely enjoyable as a stand alone read.
I was really surprised (and stereotypically stupid) to discover the author is male as I thought the strength of the female characters Nara, Dawn and Tuanne were so convincing. They almost give this a feminist aspect.
The plot romps along with huge pace so that I can see readers of 9 or 10 years old and above being utterly transfixed. As a middle aged adult I really enjoyed it too. There is danger and travel, telepathy and death – all themes that are universally attractive, not just to the target audience. There is quite a strong moral element underpinning the text as Nara decides who she can trust, what family and belonging mean and has to debate with her own conscience the rights and wrongs of killing. Nature also features as a powerful force.
Elements that make this such a satisfying book to read are the quality of writing and the illustrations. Kris Humphrey does not dumb down the vocabulary or the range of sentence structures and paragraphs so that there is a rhythm to the reading. The black and white illustrations by Chellie Carroll are absolutely fabulous. There is also a supportive website where readers can meet the land of Meridina and the characters in more detail and find their own Whisperer companion http://www.meridina.co.uk/ (I got a raven!)
I thoroughly recommend ‘Warning Cry’ to children and to adult readers alike.